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Monday, 17 December 2012

Looking Back Over 2012

This year is finally drawing to an end and there has been many unexpected twists and turns throughout the past twelve months.

I published my second book back in August and have written over 10,000 words on my third novel. I  secured myself a second job last month and so far that is going well.

But for various reasons, good and bad, 2012 hasn't ended like I had predicted. At the start of this year I had many different business goals to accomplish and I am proud to say I have achieved them all. I did exactly what I had planned to do and the results were instant. But the fantasy of achieving these goals and the reality of every day life has turned out to be very different.

And that is life through and through.

People often think that if they changed their life in a certain way they would be much happier. And maybe they would for a short time. But whatever the situation, good or bad, there will always be pros and cons. You may think being a millionaire is a guaranteed road to happiness and it probably is, but only in the financial area of your life.

True happiness doesn't stem from how much money you have or how many flash cars you drive. It stems from a much deeper satisfaction of being true to yourself and expressing your personality in a way that only you know how.

My true happiness stems from writing and spending time with loved ones. I don't care that I haven't updated my phone in ten years to a iphone or Blackberry - I am quite happy with my beloved, trusted Nokia 3410. After all, it's only a phone and all I need it for is to call and text. No device like that is really worth much. It's never going to find a cure for cancer.

Nothing materialistic is ever going to bring me much happiness.

Now I'm not saying that I can get by in life without money - nobody can. We all need money to eat, be warm and clean, and to surf the Internet in the hope of connecting to people overseas. I could not live without broadband and I need money to keep that! But society today places too much value on fame and how people look. And if you don't look a certain way then you end up being accused of all sorts.

Where has kindness and compassion gone? Has it left human souls forever more? The tragic events in America over the last couple of days seem to answer this very well, and it's here that I'd like to say that all the victims are in my thoughts.

So, as it's Christmas, the very time of year that we should make an effort to be nice to each other (although why we can't have that mindset throughout the whole year really baffles me) Make an effort and do a random act of kindness for someone.

I'll be away from this blog until after New Year so may I wish all my followers a very happy holiday.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Why It's Good To Write Less And Rest More

If you're anything like me normal life is just one challenge after another. Whenever you need a rest to prevent your head from exploding, there's just one more crisis to be solved. Sometimes it can feel like your running on the spot but making no further progress.

Sometimes life can ruin your creative spirit.

I started a new job several weeks ago and I was determined my writing wouldn't suffer. And so far it hasn't. I still write but unlike before I don't write everyday.

But yet here is the funny part, and it's the pivotal part of my post. Even though I don't write everyday, my total word count for the week remains about the same. I spend less time writing but my productivity remains constant.

At first this took a while for me to get my head around. In a world where everyone claims to be too busy to write, I always thought you had to devote the amount of time as you would to a full time job to write books. But I am gradually learning you don't.

So where is the logic to this? How can I spend less time writing but still produce the same amount of words?

Well obviously before I was spending too much time writing and I was tired without realising it. I constantly had to push myself harder and harder to do the same amount of work. Basically I was writing more or less everyday. I didn't allow myself to recharge my batteries. I could manage this at the start but after a while my creativity obviously sapped and I had to work harder to achieve less.

I was running on the spot but made no further progress.

So the key to successful writing isn't how much time you devote to the art, it's the amount of writing you produce at the end.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

How To Be Patient And In Control

After my first successful week in my new telesales job I am pleased to say I'm writing again. The positive side of my new job is I have more money to play with, but the downside is I have less time to write. However, I am still determined to keep writing and I have demonstrated this by producing 9,000 words in just over a month.

But there is certainly one thing I need more of and that is patience.

In a world where everything is instantly obtainable, one's writing goals are indeed never ending. Sometimes it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Every project we hope to complete seems to increase in length the closer we are to finishing it.

So how do we achieve our goals and put everything back into perspective?

Well we must find the courage to carry on, the determination to succeed while warding off doubts, fear and depression. And most of all, we must learn to ignore impatience.

There are certain things in a writer's life that we have no control over. When we send our finished manuscript to an editor for a final polish, we have no control over how long it's going to take them to get the job done. When we are liaising with artists, arranging our book covers, we have no control over how long it will take them to produce the final piece of art. And when we put our finished product up for sale we have no control over how many people will buy it.

These are things we cannot change or have any control over so it's best just to focus on the things within our control. Things like continuing to write, continuing learning how to write by taking courses or reading books. Researching different writing styles, and putting energy into maintaining our online presence.

How do you conquer impatience?